“To convince us that the President is alive and well, let his spin doctors put him on NTA Television. With a 3-D scan of the President”.
“HALLELUYAH oh. Somebody shout halle-lu-yah o. Ha-le-ha-le-hale… I praise the Lord o…ha-le. “Somebody, e yin oluwa logo hale…”
“What’s the matter with you?”: You don drink?”
“Yes o. I am drunk with joy. Halle-hale-halle…, “halleluyah, halle…”
“I have been telling you. Take it easy with the bottle. What a man eats is his path to the grave”.
“Hey. Professor. Spare me the lecture. I am not drunk. I am just happy that our missing President has been found. Lost and found President Yar’Adua. Halle lu yah o”.
“The missing President”.
“For over 50 days this country was without a President but now, we have found him. He is alive… He is ali-ve… Yar-Adua is – ali-ve-. A a-men I say: He is – a li-ve. Yar’Adua is ali-ve. Oh, oh, oh, he is alive. A a-men”.
“I am not as enthusiastic as you are”
“A nation that prays, stays together. Obviously, God has answered our prayers… It is good to pray”.
“Are you sure?”
“Oh yes. What do you mean I am sure? The President spoke on BBC. He told Nigerians that he is alive and well, and that as soon as his doctors say he is fit enough, he will return home. In the meantime, he wished the Super Eagles well in the Nations Cup in Angola”.
“He is well. After 50 days! And he doesn’t think he should talk to us through a Nigerian medium. He had to choose the BBC. We have been praying for him and Nigeria, and then, he finds his voice, he thinks the BBC is the best platform. What contempt!”
“A man is ill. He recovers. It doesn’t matter which platform he speaks from. I think we should be happy that the President is alive and that he has been found”.
“Of all things, he had to talk about the Super Eagles and the Nations Cup. Useless Super Eagles and Coach Amodu who if I have my way should be sent to Cabinda. The President didn’t apologise to Nigerians. He didn’t wish us a happy New Year. He didn’t say something to inspire us. In fact, I don’t believe it was him that spoke. I dare say the BBC must be embarrassed conducting such a shoddy interview”.
“Yes. Shoddy. The local media would have done a better job. At least, the reporter could have asked one or two intelligent questions. The BBC using its platform to conduct what was obviously a stage-managed interview does little credit to its own reputation?”
“Hey man. Dogs should not eat dogs. Don’t get carried away.”
“Let us tell the truth and let the devil be ashamed.”
“I see you have been listening to Lagbaja. I know where that line is coming from”.
“You know I don’t even believe that it was President Yar’Adua that spoke to the BBC. The BBC should be careful not to be seen to be part of a conspiracy of deceit. Besides, the President spoke in Hausa language. I object to that Hausa bit. He is President of Nigeria, not President of the Hausa-Fulani”.
“Oh come on. When a man is ill, and he recovers, I don’t care what language comes out of his mouth. In any case, the man also spoke in English”.
“All of this is political”.
“You are a doubting Thomas”.
“Yes. I am. To convince us that the President is alive and well, let his spin doctors put him on NTA Television. With a 3-D scan of the President”.
“Channels, please. Or AIT. I don’t trust NTA”.
“After 50 days of absence, if the President is well enough, we expect him to show up on national television and address all Nigerians. And I don’t expect him to talk about the Super Eagles in Angola. There are more important issues. Is he handing over to his Vice President, for example? Will Goodluck Jonathan now be in charge? Or the country will remain without a leader?”
“The court has settled that, I think”
“The court has not settled anything. If you are talking about the Federal High Court ruling which says the Vice President can take over, I am sorry, it looks like that judgement merely states a principle. It is not executorial. There are no clear-out orders”.
“The Attorney-General of the Federation says there are. The Vice President can now sign anything and act as President”.
“Only in a delegated capacity. The President has not delegated anything to him, so, we are still in the clouds”.
“But a man of courage will hold on to that same ruling and act courageously. The ruling is in one sense about the character of the Vice President. Will he seize the day? Will he step up to the big moment. He has a chance now to stand up. This is all that he needs”.
“You are asking Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to become a suicide bomber? Is that what you are saying?”
“You are speaking in tongues. I don’t get it. I am saying there is a court ruling which offers both Jonathan and all Nigerians a window of opportunity”.
“And I am saying the court ruling has only worsened the situation. Judges should be careful what they say at moments like this”.
“Don’t blame the Judge. The law is a social modulator. The court has ruled. Will Jonathan step forward?”
“My own take is that nothing is that straight-forward in Nigerian politics. Vice President Jonathan will not like to be seen to be ambitious. You know the man is a lucky Deputy. Any man wey the man deputise, something must do am. Alami go jail. Yar’Adua go hospital.”
“That’s mumbo-jumbo. No be Jonathan fault. The matter is simple. Let the President return home. We get hospital for Nigeria too.”
“On doctor’s advice?”
“No. We can no longer wait for that. You know some newspapers have been insisting that the man is clinically dead”.
“But a man that is clinically dead cannot speak Hausa and English on BBC”.
“Suppose it was an actor that spoke…”
“No. It was Yar’Adua”.
“Fine. Let him appear on NTA, then”.
“All of this is just so tiresome. The whole world is laughing at us. How can the President of Nigeria be a missing President?”
“Nothing ever works in Nigeria”.
“At least we now know where our President is. In Haiti, their President is homeless. He now sleeps on the streets. We should thank God here. Now that the President has spoken, naturally every government official would wish to go to Saudi Arabia to greet him. Traditional rulers too”.
“No. That should be discouraged. Whoever wants to see the President should await his arrival. Nobody should turn the President’s ill-health into an opportunity to make quick bucks”.
“Too late. I understand members of the House of Representatives are already on their way to Saudi Arabia. Seven of them. They have all collected their tickets”.
“Jonathan should stop them”.
“The lawmakers claim they are performing their oversight function. They need to go to Saudi Arabia to oversee the President”.
“They shouldn’t bother. The President himself should come home. When Saudi Princes fall sick, they go to America for medical treatment. What is our President doing in Saudi Arabia?”
“No. You are wrong. Why is our President not in a Nigerian hospital. That is the question?”
“He should answer that question himself. And not through BBC. It has to be a Nigerian channel. And in English not Hausa”.
“May be you have a point. English is Nigeria’s official language, not Hausa. The crisis has just begun.”
“Don’t misunderstand me though. I am not saying that this is a North-South debacle. No. That is not my view, I just want the President back home, if that is possible. And I ask: who will come home first- Yar’Adua or the Super Eagles?”
“It is even more than that. If the country continues to drift, what do you think will happen? I am praying for Goodluck Jonathan”
“Where do you think all this will lead to?”
“A greater future for Nigeria. I can see God’s hand in it all”.
“No. I don’t see God’s hands. I see failure of leadership. I see selfishness. That is what I see”.
“You probably have a point. Today is January 15”.
“No. No. No. Don’t go that way”.
“What I think you are thinking”.
“I am not even thinking. I am just saying that the only way forward is forward”.
“You should be careful. These are difficult times. Watch what you say. You could step on the wrong toes.”
“Okay I wish the President quick recovery, and all the people that drove the rabbit out of the hole, American Chronicle, London Telegraph and their local conspirators a happy 2010.”
“That your mouth will get you into trouble soon.”
“Wetin I talk now?”